Dixon Symposium Rapid Recap 1
By MOA Marketing Intern Addie Sepulveda
The Maynard Dixon Symposium started out beautifully this morning. In her introduction, the Museum Director, Janalee Emmer, welcomed everyone and gave recognition to the many individuals that have made this symposium and the Maynard Dixon: Searching For Home exhibition possible. Not only did she recognize the individuals that assisted today, but she also recognized Harold R. Clark who fostered a relationship with Dixon and brought many of his work here to Brigham Young University. Lastly, Dr. Emmer recognized the indigenous land that we are on today and that Dixon explored as well.
The symposium began with Keynote Speaker Dr. Erika Doss, Professor of American Studies at Notre Dame University. Her presentation “Men, Men, Men: Maynard Dixon’s Masculinist Take on the American West” addresses Dixon’s life growing up in Fresco, going to New York, and (with a dislike to being hired to depict a “fake” west) moved back to the west. When he moved back to San Francisco he continued to be hired as an illustrator to create different images in many different styles for many different means, but generally always depicting the masculine west that Dixon continuously captured.
Dr. James Swensen, Associate Professor of Art History at BYU, then addresses Maynard Dixon’s and local artist Everett Thorpe’s competition for the mural of the Provo Post Office in his presentation, “Not By the Hand of God: Maynard Dixon, Everett Thorpe, and the Mural Contest for Provo’s Post Office”. By carefully looking at Dixon’s mural The Hand of God (1940) and Thorpe’s Early and Modern Provo (1942) we are able to see different manifestations of how these two artists interpreted Provo and what they believed would be best for the Provo Post Office.